Original paper

A collection of bryophytes from the Tigray province, N Ethiopia and first evidence for a Syntrichion laevipilae Ochsner 1928 community in xerotropical Africa

Kürschner, Harald; Neef, Reinder


A collection of bryophytes in the Tigray province of northern Ethiopia reveals 29 taxa (7 liverworts, 22 mosses), among them four - Barbula tenuirostris, Didymodon validus, Entosthodon pulchellus, Lindbergia patentifolia - new for Ethiopia. The high proportion of morphological well adapted xerothalloid Marchantiidae and xeropottiod Pottiaceae impressively demonstrate the harsh site conditions in the area for most of the year. In addition, a first phytosociological study of the epiphytic bryophyte vegetation is carried out in the dry evergreen Afromontane forest and grassland complex, which give evidence for two communities: (1) a Fabronia abyssinica community typical for the Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata fragments (lower montane belt), and (2) a Syntrichia fragilis community of the Olea-Juniperus procera woodland (upper montane belt). Both communities remain rankless at the moment, however, might be classified within the holarctic Syntrichion laevipilae alliance. First remarks on the life forms and life strategies (functional types) of the main species indicate the xeric site conditions and give insight in dispersal, habitat colonization and habitat maintenance.


africaarabiaepiphytesfunctional typeslife strategiesliverwortsmossesphytosociologyplant geography